You hear the cliche all the time in other stick and ball sports where someone says, "you wont see that on the stat page tomorrow morning" and nothing could apply more to the 19's team effort from Dover.
I don't think there was one instance where the 19 car actually improved his position 'on the track', but did manage to salvage a nice finish through good pits stops, a spotter who has cat like reflexes guiding his driver through wrecks, and a driver who listens to that almost 'psychic like' spotter.
Starting 12th, the 19car almost immediately began sporting the now patented 'falling back through the field' with an ill handing car to the high 30s in the field. It's like a broken record hearing 'loose on entry, tight in the middle, loose off', repeat as needed.
But sometimes it is not how fast the car is (even one that really was only a tenth or so 'off') but how the whole team reacts. The crescendo came with just a handful of laps left in the race when the 'big one' happened just in front of the 19car, and the plethora of 'back it down, back it down, wave em off' by spotterman and the presence of mind of the driver to slow his car without flat spotting the tires. That exchange won't go in any record books, but probably was the difference from finishing 17th compared to the possible 34th. So the next time we hear about how 'bad luck' played into a finish, the opposite is true for this week's Dover finish.
I thought upstart Denny Hamlin showed much maturity and restraint with ole guard driver Kyle Petty. While on the track Hamlin may have made a bonehead move, off the track he remained calm and simply watched Petty make himself look foolish.
Score one for a 'young gun'.